Introduction to GIS

Emily Burns

Community College of Rhode Island
Two Year College


This is an introduction to using ArcGIS software. Basic techniques are covered, as well as background information on cartography and geodesy.

Course URL:
Resource Type: Course Information
Special Interest: GIS
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Course Size:

less than 15

Course Context:

This is an introductory course that is open to all students. It was taught for the first time last fall. The participants included students in the college's surveying certificate program and upper-division geology and geography students from other institutions.

Course Goals:

Students are skilled enough with ArcGIS 9 to create maps that pertain to their major, thesis project, work interests, or other interests.

Students have a basic understanding of geodesy, cartography, coordinate systems, projections, and other basic geographic and cartographic information.

Students can use metadata, documentation, and instructions to solve simple technical problems, decide what kind of map they need to make, and evaluate the quality of data from various sources.

Students can find and download the data they need from the internet.

Students can read an evaluate other people's maps.

Students can handle large databases and present the material graphically in clear, readable maps.

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

logically so that one set of skills allows the students to acquire the next set. The in-class activities give students a chance to practice with the software and become comfortable using it.


I assess learning with quizzes, in-class exercises, and a final independent project.


Intro to GIS syllabus (Microsoft Word 51kB May27 10)

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